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Estacada becomes a Right Brain district

The Right Brain Initiative is coming to Estacada.

The initiative is a partnership of schools, local government, private donors and the cultural community, making arts education accessible to K-8 students throughout Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.

Clackamas River Elementary Principal Seth Johnson said parent interest prompted the district to look into bringing the initiative to Estacada.

He announced during the school board meeting on June 11 that The Right Brain Initiative will be coming to the Estacada School District beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

Marna Stalcup, program manager for The Right Brain Initiative, said the program is implemented in schools over three years.

“The whole point here is to arm teachers with new tools and techniques so they continue after the artist is gone,” Stalcup said.

During the 2014-15 school year, two classrooms in Clackamas River and in Eagle Creek Elementary will have an arts integration coach to collaborate with teachers to weave arts into the curriculum.

The goal is to have the Right Brain program integrated into every classroom by 2015-16.

During the 2013-14 year, Clackamas River Elementary students had limited access to the arts, Johnson said.

The school had no official art teacher and no artist in residence.

To keep arts in the school, for the past few years, Johnson said, the students’ homeroom teacher has woven arts into lessons.

“We believe arts is a very important piece of education,” Johnson said. “What we’re hoping to have with this Right Brain Initiative is a more comprehensive plan for how we role out our arts.”

Dan Draper, principal of Eagle Creek Elementary, also is excited about the program.

While the school has had an artist-in-residence program arranged through the parents club for several years, Draper said he hopes to continue the program in addition to implementing The Right Brain Initiative.

For more information on The Right Brain Initiative visit therightbraininitiative.org.

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